“That was a moment, and it was real, and I don’t know if I would [do it differently]. I really don’t,” Cruise said during an hourlong interview with Winfrey taped in his Telluride, Colorado, home.
During the show broadcast Friday, Cruise said his antics on Winfrey’s show three years ago were an authentic way of expressing his feelings for Katie Holmes.
Holmes, now his wife, welcomed Winfrey to the couple’s home at the top of the show. She then left Cruise to conduct a tour, which included a peek at daughter Suri’s playrooms, the home’s kitchen, Cruise’s collection of bound film scripts and stunning views of snow-topped mountains.
Winfrey and a subdued, jeans-wearing Cruise conducted the interview on an overstuffed couch in the family’s living room.
About a month after his last appearance on Winfrey’s show in May 2005, Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for taking anti-depression drugs after the birth of her child. He also berated “Today” host Matt Lauer for suggesting that psychiatric treatment might help some patients.
Cruise, 45, told Winfrey that he was feeling “pressed” during the interview and that his concern was that “child drugging” needs to be “the parents’ choice.”
But when Winfrey pointed out that Cruise specifically appeared to be criticizing the use of medication to treat postpartum depression, indicating depression could be treated with vitamins and exercise, he said he regretted that his views “came out wrong.”
“I personally don’t [believe in antidepressant drugs]. … But I think that people have the, it’s their decision. When you look at something, it’s an individual’s right to make a decision on what they’re going to do with their life,” he said.
Cruise also talked about his belief in the Church of Scientology.
He said that when he refuses to answer questions about Scientology, people question why he’s avoiding the topic. When he does answer questions, he’s accused of preaching.
A video that recently surfaced on the Internet of an animated Cruise extolling the virtues of Scientology was taken “totally out of context,” because it was specifically made for a Scientology event, he said.
One of Scientology’s central codes is to “respect the religious beliefs of others,” Cruise said. “That’s part of being a Scientologist, and that’s who I am as a person.”
Much of the rest of the interview involved Cruise shooting down various rumors and reports.
He said ex-wife Nicole Kidman still has a relationship with the two children they adopted during their marriage and stressed that the two share custody. He said he loves Holmes’ family, calling them “amazing people.”
Asked about skeptics who believe that his relationship with Holmes is a public relations stunt, Cruise said, “That’s laughable to me. I don’t know what to say.”
Winfrey asked about a book that she said “implied” Suri was not Cruise’s child.
“I’ve had a lot of books written about me. When someone compares your daughter to Rosemary’s baby — it’s one thing to come after me. Say stuff about me,” he said. “But when it comes to my family, my children, that’s when I went, ‘This is off the chart.’ ”
Looking back over the past three years, Cruise said he’s learned that there are some instances when he needs to communicate with the public more and other times when he needs to choose when and where to express his opinions.
“I feel like definitely things have been misunderstood and things that I could have done better,” he said.
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